EVERETT — Four Snohomish County bus drivers have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement released Thursday afternoon by Community Transit.
The employees notified the agency of their possible infections on separate days, and the cases do not appear to be directly related, CEO Emmett Heath wrote.
The Snohomish Health District confirmed they were positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. The drivers reportedly quarantined themselves at the first sign of symptoms, and had not worked between five and 13 days.
In the same statement, Heath announced all Community Transit bus rides will be free starting Friday. Riders, with the exception of those with disabilities, will have to board and exit through the rear doors only.
Heath noted Community Transit has taken precautionary steps in preventing the spread of coronavirus. Buses are disinfected each night; employees must undergo health screenings upon reporting for work; most administrative employees are telecommuting; and social distancing guidelines have been incorporated at the agency’s facilities.
So far, the Snohomish Health District has advised against shutting down operations, Heath wrote.
“Our agency is in a unique position,” he wrote. “We are committed to keeping our employees and riders safe. We also recognize the critical nature of our business. Our communities, including health care workers, continue to rely on the services we provide.”